DMK levels corruption charges against TN CM, Dy CM

DMK levels corruption charges against Tamil Nadu CM Palaniswami, Deputy CM and six ministers

The move by DMK comes ahead of a crucial Assembly elections due in the first half of 2021

DMK President M K Stalin. Credit: PTI File Photo

Tamil Nadu's principal Opposition party, DMK, on Tuesday, petitioned Governor Banwarilal Purohit, listing a slew of corruption charges against Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, his deputy O Panneerselvam, and six of their cabinet colleagues, and sought action against them under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

In a voluminous petition that runs into 98 pages, DMK President M K Stalin levelled allegations of “large-scale” corruption and irregularities in awarding tenders for various road projects against Palaniswami, and charged Panneerselvam and his family of amassing wealth.

Besides the duo, the representation levelled allegations of corruption against Local Administration Minister S P Velumani, Electricity Minister P Thangamani, Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar, Food Minister R Kamaraj, Health Minister C Vijayabaskar, and Revenue Minister R B Udhayakumar.

While Palaniswami has been accused of favouring his relatives by awarding highways contracts to them and amassing wealth in the name of his family members, including his son, several allegations have also been made against six ministers.

Stalin said, “a bare reading of these allegations would reveal and establish prima facie cases of acts of corruption, accumulation of assets disproportionate to known sources of income and other offences punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act 2018.” He also claimed that complaints filed by DMK MLAs against ministers to the law enforcement agencies have not yielded any results.

“As such, we have reasons to believe that the Council of Ministers is preventing the law from taking its course and that this is a further and more serious criminal act being coordinated under the leadership of Edappadi K Palaniswami.

“Therefore, we submit a compilation of these complaints in the hope that you, as the Head of the Executive, will initiate enquiry, insulate the law enforcement agencies from external influence and establish the rule of law in the State of Tamil Nadu,” Stalin said in the petition.

Responding to Stalin's petition, Palaniswami told reporters in Thoothukudi that the allegations were “politically motivated” and being raised by the DMK to “hide corruption by its own MLAs and former ministers.”

“The corrupt activities by DMK men will come out very soon. Since they know this, they are trying to pre-empt by branding us corrupt,” Palaniswami said, reading out a list of DMK leaders against whom cases are pending in various courts.